Mumbai : In a massive clean-up operation before the upcoming civic elections, India’s biggest and richest civic body BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has booted out 55 employees for corruption and suspended another 134 for graft and other crimes, an official said here on Tuesday.
The 55 staffers at various levels have been found guilty after court proceedings in corruption and have accordingly been dismissed from service, as approved by BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal.
Besides losing their jobs, these staffers will forfeit all other benefits like pension and gratuity, and worse – they are permanently debarred from applying from any government jobs in future, as dismissal is deemed as the most severe punishment.
Another 53 employees have cases of bribes lodged against them, while 81 staffers are facing other minor or severe criminal cases from the police.
Not sparing them either, the BMC has suspended these 134 staffers from their services for an undisclosed period – when they are barred from attending duties and face other repercussions.
The BMC said that a total of 200 civic staffers are embroiled in 142 cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and in 105 cases, the civic body has given its ‘pre-prosecution sanction’ to file the cases.
Of the remaining 37 complaints, 30 are under investigation by the departments and no approval has been sought from the BMC, but if they come up for sanction, the suitable action will be taken on priority.
From the remaining 7 cases, in 4 cases, sanction has been given to the ACB and it is in the process for the 3 other matters.
An official said that they had received 395 complaints against BMC employees under the Prevention of Corruption Act’s Section 17(a).
These complaints ranged from potholes to neglected wastes, poor garbage collection, bad condition of footpaths, water problems, improper spraying of insecticides, malpractices in public health services, etc,
Since these do not fall under the pre-prosecution sanction category, all these written complaints are being handled by various departments of the BMC for necessary action.
On the flip side, from 2018, the ACB had sought sanctions to investigate a total of 395 cases, but in 359 cases, after a thorough probe, it was found that those complaints were baseless.
In 18 cases, proceedings are currently on at the civic level, but in 14 cases, no prima facie evidence was found, and the remaining 4 are currently being acted upon by the departments concerned against the accused employees.
The sweeping action across departments comes just ahead of the BMC budget, to be tabled later this week and the much-anticipated civic elections, which are likely to be announced soon.